Advice Needed

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lloydkirk
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:59 am

Advice Needed

Post by lloydkirk »

Hello Everyone,

I am really sold on becoming an international school teacher but I could use some advice as to the appropriate route. I am a recent graduate with a major in Economics. I would like to become a high school social science teacher but I am also equally interested in English literature. My plan is to go back to school and do a Masters in Education with k-12 certification. And with that I have a few questions:

1.) Would you advise getting certified in both social science and English? I have the read that the demand is far greater in the latter?

2.) My home state(FL) offers temporary certification. Would it be smart to begin teaching right away and do a masters part-time? Or if I do the masters full-time, what are the chances of getting a job in an international school with minimal experience?

3.) I am a British/American dual citizen. I was born in the the U.K, but grew up in the U.S. Is there a preference on the international school circuit for one country or another in regards to certification? I would imagine in the former British empire, U.K qualifications would have more weight..

Thanks A Bunch,


John
shadowjack
Posts: 2097
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Post by shadowjack »

Hi lloydkirk,

Teach and do your masters part-time. You get the experience and earn money while doing your masters. That 2 years of experience will help you get to a higher level school your first time out.

If you can find an IB school in Florida, target it. The IB is somewhat similar to GCSE and A level, which are the British standard levels, so it gives you a bit of a crossover.

Do Social Science and English - but make sure your teaching experience is either in English or Economics or Business and Marketing - those are your bread and butter out on the circuit.

While British schools like to have teachers trained in the UK, I have several friends working at Brit schools trained elsewhere. I taught in England and I am not UK certified.

Good luck!
lloydkirk
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:59 am

Post by lloydkirk »

Hi shadowjack,

Thanks for the prompt reply! I am little concerned about getting the initial teaching experience in the subjects you mentioned. Getting an English teaching position wouldn't be so difficult but if I got hired as an social studies teacher, for example, I might not teach one economics class. And for business/marketing, that seems to be a very niche area in FL. In fact, I don't see any vacancies on the FL education website. Any tips?

Lastly, I have seen special education mentioned quite favorably on this forum. I actually worked with disabled students while in Uni and I enjoyed the work. Would getting certified in this area improve my chances of getting a 1st tier IS position? Thanks again!

Best,

John
Nomads
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:08 pm

Post by Nomads »

John,

Get as many certifications as you can. Flexibility will be a great benefit for you. I would recommend getting your special ed. certification as there is always a need for people in this area and many admin. like to have teachers with this background in the regular classroom as well.

I would agree with ShadowJack that the fastest path to an IS position is get a teaching position and do the Masters' part-time. Then in two years, you will have a better chance at getting a position at a better school. Without experience you options will be limited even with the masters.

In regards to the certification, the American certification will work for inter national style and American style schools. Obviously the British curriculum schools would want the UK cert. The UK passport would help you get a job in Europe.
CaliPro
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:08 pm
Location: United States

Post by CaliPro »

Might be problematic to get a job without a teaching certificate / license.

You dont need a masters so early in your career. You need experience.

Id suggest doing an alternative certification program (TeacherReady which is based out of Florida) then taking a job in Latin America, Asia, or Middle East.

Get your certification, get experience, then worry about a Masters later.
shadowjack
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Post by shadowjack »

Calipro, he mentioned doing the teacher cert along with his masters. Some university based programs offer that option.

while nomadadmin is right about getting as many certs as possible (if you are in a system that gives certs), Special Ed is not a high needs international school area in relation to the other subjects mentioned and many schools do not offer special needs or even have a SEN program. In order to compete at the schools which do, you would need experience in the SEN area. It is not impossible, and there are some jobs, but there are far far more English jobs than Special Needs, and more Business and Marketing + Econ jobs than Special Needs.

Good luck with the call!
CaliPro
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:08 pm
Location: United States

Post by CaliPro »

From what he wrote it reads to me that he would be getting his license in/through his Masters program which I am assuming would be two years to complete.

If that is the case id advise against that. Take too long. Id go ahead and get the license (9 months). Then get a job and start building up his experience and contacts.
txteach
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:49 pm

Post by txteach »

My graduate degree is in economics. When I decided to teach, I went for math education, not social studies. Best decision ever!
lloydkirk
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:59 am

Post by lloydkirk »

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the fine advice! The masters program I have my eyes on allows/encourages you to work in a school while doing the program and it leads to full certification at the end of it. I still have a couple questions about special ed. Is the demand relative to the supply of teachers favorable? Also, maybe someone could clarify the typical role of a SPED teacher in an international school setting. Some of the posts I have read make it out to be more of an administrative position...
shadowjack
Posts: 2097
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Post by shadowjack »

Lloydkirk,

honestly, SPED positions that are dedicated are not as common as you may think. Major international schools have them - most international schools do not, in my experience.

I would seriously consider txteach's advice. Math is always a high demand area, particularly for the senior level classes. If you can do your teaching certification in that area, you will always have a job.

Economics and Business and Management are not taught at every school. Math is.

I would avoid SPED because if you do go out recruiting for that, you will be competing against many teachers more experienced than you.

Just my two cents - hope it helps!
Nomads
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:08 pm

Post by Nomads »

At the schools I have worked in, SPED teachers mostly work with students who have mild to moderate learning needs. Depending upon the division, ES, MS, HS, the SPED teachers may directly teach skills or may provide supplemental instruction. In some schools, they will either team teach or work in the regular ed. classroom supporting the SPED students and others as needed.

While there is documentation and testing there is far less paperwork than what you would have in a stateside position.
lloydkirk
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:59 am

Post by lloydkirk »

Nomads, how much experience did you have in SPED before you secured a positon in an international school? I am trying to decide whether to do a masters in SPED or in English(literature) education. In my state(FL), it seems there are quite a lot of positions in both areas but I am thinking English might be more competitive. I dont mind working a couple years stateside if it means I dont have the work in (insert hell hole here :wink: ).
Nomads
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:08 pm

Post by Nomads »

You generally need two years of experience to secure a position at a tier 2 or 3 school. It would actually be best if you could get certified in sped and another area to improve your flexibility and chances.
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